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23 September 2018

10 Best Transactional Email Services for 2018

Stripo / Blog / 10 Best Transactional Email Services for 2018

It is impossible to overrate the value of transactional emails. They are vital for your business growth as keep notifying clients and customers about their orders’ status and other important changes. Emails of this kind are sometimes called event-triggered ones, but they slightly differ.

Transactional emails are:

Once you have created them in accordance with the certain rules, you need to find a good transactional email service provider — please, do not confuse them with email clients. The main difference between an email client that enables sending out bulk emails and a transactional email service is that the scenario you create with the latter. There are many of them. But they are not equally good. We decided to conduct research on this topic, and you will have to select the one.

Note: we intentionally did not compare their embedded email template builders here, because in one of the previous articles we compared top 10 free builders.

10 best transactional email services for 2018

This summer, Litmus conducted a survey, where asked its readers and users to tick the ESP they use. And on July 23, 2018, they published the results. We decided to investigate some transactional email services from the list of their popularity, and some others which are also famous but were not on the Litmus’ survey list.

In alphabetical order:

1. Campaign Monitor

Campaign Monitor was founded in 2004. 8.3% of email marketers prefer this ESP. Among a wide variety of its famous customers, you may find Adidas, Chandon, Austrian Red Cross, Soho, Penguin Random House, and others.


The service advantages:

  • its blog. I find it informative and engaging — they share tips on how to improve transactional emails’ results;
  • it offers a “journey” to inspire you to create your own scenarios. Before you dive right into this journey, you may even specify the industry you are in to get more specific recommendations;


  • there are two types of transactional emails — classic ones (with API and developers needed) and smart ones.


  • you have permission to send out triggered emails and even to use smart transactional emails once you paid your monthly plan;
  • there is a free trial way to use this transactional email service, but you get this opportunity once — no free messages on a monthly basis.

Its unique feature:

  • comparison — this tool compares email marketing campaign’s results with the previous months’ ones. For example, they compare promo with promo, or transactional emails with transactional ones. Certainly, many modern ESPs do it, but this one provides you with percents. This is very convenient and shows more accurate results.


2. Constant Contact

Constant Contact was founded in 1995. It can boast about a 5.1% share of the email marketing automation niche.

I must confess I really loved their “help” for its numerous video tutorials, for its knowledge base. They all are very descriptive, detailed and specific.


The service advantages:

  • unlimited emails for the fixed price;
  • A/B testing is its strength;
  • integration with Shopify — upload your contact base from this platform;
  • login with Paypal account to ensure your credit card security.



  • no trial package — registration starts with choosing the right plan and inserting credit card information. But the first month is free!

Its unique feature:

  • ability to automatically share your emails to your Facebook business page.

3. eSputnik

Founded in 2012, eSputnik made it be one of the best transactional email service providers in Eastern Europe. Among its awards, you will see they won the Best Customer Communication Tool award at the Berlin Expo 2018.

eSputnik may boast about a 95% share in Ukraine, and the bulk of ecommerce in Eastern Europe have preferred eSputnik over other transactional email service providers.

I love their blog. All the articles are based on their own experience, and analysis of customers’ subscribers’ behavior, processed by the AI specialists. Isn’t it perfect to receive email marketing news and recommendations from the first hands?

On their blog, you may also find about 2,500 of email examples.


The service advantages:

  • blog. I have just mentioned it;
  • omnichannel — it uses text messaging aka SMS, emails, messengers, web- and mobile-pushes. Great decision to reach out with a mobile-push reminder to those who got registered for an event with you, or to let the customers know the sale is about to end in a few hours. Omnichannel increases your ROI;
  • scenarios — for all the transactional emails, like abandoned cart emails, a sequence of reminders, welcoming series, reactivation emails, etc. All these emails are there to help you keep your customers updated, and stay in touch with them 24/7;
  • click map — it shows which links and CTA buttons were clicked;
  • 2,500 free emails for newcomers — including transactional emails.



  • unintuitive interface. Now that I am used to it, I find it user-friendly, but it took some time.

Its unique feature:

  • complex segmentation — they use the Event Method to track visitors’ behavior on your website, on other sites, and even Offline Events;
  • dynamic contact groups — the system automatically includes contacts who meet and eliminates those no longer meet certain criteria.

4. GetResponse

GetResponse is probably the best transactional email service provider for bloggers.


It’s used mostly by those who host webinars, as GetResponse creates sophisticated webinar invitation and webinar reminder sequences.

Their most famous users are the Hilton Hotels, and Neil Patel. The latter even recorded a video where explained how to use this ESP.

The service advantages:

  • segmentation to provide geographically relevant content;
  • language personalization. Yes, I know many companies do it, but only some do it well.


  • its email template builder. Find the detailed explanation and comparison table here.

Its unique feature:

  • expert’s 1.5-hour consultation on your email marketing strategy. It’s totally free.

5. HubSpot

HubSpot was founded back in 2005.

For many people, HubSpot is famous first of all for its blog with over than 4.5 million monthly visits.

But also, its share in the email marketing niche among top EPSs is 5.1%.


The service advantages:

  • Facebook lead ads;
  • along with the transactional service provider, you receive a CRM system for your business.


  • high price, as you cannot pay for only sending emails and getting reports, you buy an entire package with landing pages, etc. To get all the necessary options, you need to pay for the Professional plan. But if you do it, you receive a wide variety of useful and rare options.


Its unique feature:

  • smartsend time — allows sending emails to each prospect of a group at different times which suits him or her better.

6. Mailchimp

Mailchimp is a world known transactional service email provider with over 10 billion emails sent per month, its share was 24.2% as of July 23, 2018. Founded in 2001.

One of its most famous users is CNN.


The service advantages:

  • Facebook, Instagram and Google Remarketing integration to place ads and track customers;
  • member rating to detect potential VIP customers;
  • intuitive interface.


  • just two channels: emails and pop-up sign-up forms. It is not enough to build strong scenarios. Besides, it is impossible to combine even these two channels in one scenario;
  • its email template builder does not match all the requirements for modern email template builders.

Its unique feature:

  • forwarding emails. This feature allows your users forward and share your emails with their friends, with even a notification email attached.


Once your customers have hit the Forward button, they will need to fill out the form with their friend’s name and email address. What’ the use of it?  


7. Marketo

Founded in 2006, has a 9.4% share. It’s a good solution both B2C and B2B.

On September 20, Adobe announced it had acquired Marketo. The same day Marketo confirmed this news. But both companies promise to take care of users.


Its famous users are Hyundai, Panasonic, Citrix, and many others.

The service advantages:

  • for each feature they mentioned on the website, they also provided a case-study;
  • smart (dynamic) contact groups.


  • the interface is slow. It takes about 5-7 seconds to go from one tab to another.

Its unique feature:

  • marketing calendar to see which campaigns are in progress, which ones are finished and which campaigns are only scheduled.


8. Oracle

Oracle was founded back in 1977. Every seventh email marketer uses this software, as its share is 12.2% among competitors.


The service advantages:

  • new customers may send up to 2,000 emails per day. This limit is set to protect existing customers’ reputation;
  • spam filter testing — messages with the rate under 5 will not be sent;
  • spell checking — check your spelling when creating an email template;
  • they help you build a customer acquisition plan.



  • slow unintuitive interface. It took some time to find the editor and to start my own transactional campaign.

Its unique feature:

  • it captures multichannel customer feedback.

9. Salesforce

26.6% of email marketers all over the world use Salesforce. In fact, this is the world’s number one CRM, but we compared only its ESP features.

The service advantages:

  • social media integration;
  • content library — this is the only ESP besides eSputnik that allows saving not only templates, but some elements of it to reduce the time spent on future email campaigns creation;
  • very descriptive knowledge base with video tutorials.



  • no fixed price — you can’t start using it right away. Give them a call, and they will select a plan for you;
  • their email builder lacks a few modern features. But they allow importing pure HTML code and even show how to do it;
  • it’s limited to 1,000 emails sent a day and 250 contacts per list — you will still need a third-party ESP.

Its unique feature:

  • paid add-on Commerce Cloud Order Management — allows receiving orders via many channels. Set for additional price.

10. SendGrid  

Founded in 2009, its share in email marketing niche is 7.1%. Amongst SendGrid’s famous clients you may find Uber, Spotify, and Airbnb. 


The service advantages:

  • integration with WordPress;
  • pop-up unsubscription notifications;
  • advanced search.


  • email template builder is not intuitive and does not include all the micro tools to build a trending email in 2018;
  • reporting could be more detailed.

Its unique feature:

  • A/B testing allows running up to six different variations simultaneously.

11. Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES)

Note: I decided to mention it, but apart from the list. Why, when unlike the aforementioned top transactional email services, I was not able to try it out fully for the complicated registration system? I don’t even know if they have an email template builder, but the features I read on their website are really impressive.

So, this is a product of Initially, it was developed for internal needs, but now is available for users all over the world. I suppose they, as a product of the world’s biggest internet retailer, know how to deal with transactional emails.


The service advantages:

  • dedicated IP addresses to ensure higher email deliverability;
  • incoming emails — your inbox is synchronized with AmazonAWS. Once there is a new email from the customers in your inbox, you get a notification to your Amazon account;
  • the first 62,000 emails are sent for free.  


  • no free registration. In fact, it is called a “free account”, but still requires your credit card information and a dollar on your account. Otherwise, you won’t get it finished.

Its unique feature:

  • mailbox simulator. It is meant to test all your transactional emails and scenarios.

Stripo integration

Stripo’s got advanced integration with 4 of the aforementioned ESPs, and will be synced with two more of them, soon:


As we can see, there is no universal transactional service provider that would fit all businesses, but each business may find the solution that meets their needs best.

I hope that our transactional email service comparison was informative, and now with our help, you will easily select the right tool for your business.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us via Facebook or email us at We will be happy to assist!

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